9 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from Steelers fun to swimming lessons without a pool

This week is full of challenges, inspiration and creative ways to move outside (safely). Check out these 9 awesome things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh.

1. Learn to draw kawaii

When you come across kawaii, the translation from Japanese is easy to remember: cuteness! Kids can follow along the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Creative Connections video to learn how to draw kawaii (sounds like Hawaii). Try the super cute unicorn cupcake or a darling glazed donut. Find lots more cool virtual activities from the Connections collection here.

2. Cruise to the drive-in

Dependable Drive-in re-opened with lots of social distancing rules and updates. Expect a new way to order snacks via the FanFood app for delivery from the concession stand to your car. So sophisticated! This weekend’s lineup brings a family-focused double feature: “Trolls World Tour” and “Dolittle” open Friday.

3. Build an amusement park – and win a prize

Snapology is celebrating its 10th anniversary by challenging kids ages 14 and younger to compete in the Ultimate Amusement Park Engineer Giveaway. Build an amusement park out of LEGOs or any recycled household material and have your grownup shoot a photo and submit your design. The deadline is June 11. The build with the most votes wins $1,000. A random entry will be chosen for the second prize of $250. Check out some of the early entries here. And don’t forget to vote!

4. Take swimming lessons – on dry land!

The pools might be closed, but that doesn’t stop Goldfish Swim School from its mission. Goldfish now offers free dry-land swim classes for kids. Visit the Goldfish YouTube page and choose the level that matches your kid’s age and skill level. The classes are a fun way to get some exercise, reinforce previous lessons and learn new movements. And, with an eye on National Water Safety Month, you can be assured kids will learn how to stay safe around water.

5. Just hit print

Steelers fans can download coloring sheets of their favorite players, like JuJu, T.J. and Ben. Other distance learning activities include NFL Play60 family workouts, the Character Playbook and the Cooper Institute fitness playlist.

Dole’s collection of activities for kids puts the focus on healthy living and food safety with coloring pages, fruity crossword puzzles and a thank-you card for those all-important helpers in the neighborhood.

Heinz History Center inspires kids with Pittsburgh women who made history. Print, color and learn about activist Dorothy Lampkin, journalist Nellie Bly and environmentalist Rachel Carson.

6. Take a hike off the beaten path

As parks become crowded with hikers and bikers, head to less well-known spots to keep your family a good social distance from others. Allegheny County’s Parks Trails Mobile App shows trails in all nine county parks, along with length and difficulty. The GPS-enabled app can be switched between imagery, topographic or terrain basemaps to help choose your trek.

7. Make a tie-dye secret message

This activity from Carnegie Science Center combines a bit of science with art – and the child-like love of secrets. Basic supplies include paper, a white crayon, washable markers and a paintbrush. Check out the Science Center’s daily posts of something to see, to watch and to do for more diversions.

8. Talk to the animals

Kids will love getting to know their favorite animals a bit better through Call of the Wild Virtual Encounters at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The experience, offered for a limited time, allows 15 interactive minutes with an animal and a caretaker via Zoom or FaceTime. Choose from a red panda, leopard cubs and pygmy hippo, among others. The cost ranges from $75 to $125, depending on the animal. It’s a generous way to help support the zoo while the gates are closed. Learn other ways to contribute to the zoo’s emergency operating fund here.

9. Make a reservation

Instead of planning a big night out, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and MuseumLab came up with a new fundraising idea – the Great Night In Family Gala. Participants will do more than support the museums. They will help provide meals to 300 families in need. The ticket includes a spaghetti dinner for four, a bottle of red and a sweet treat for dessert. Expect an entertaining virtual program, plus a special invitation to a VIP Q+A session. Make your reservation by May 26 to receive the boxed meal. Buy tickets for the June 6 event here.

For more fun stuff for kids, check out the Kidsburgh Activities page and our Maker Monday collection.